"The basic problem" [shi]
The basic problem of being would need to be solved
within the arena of the particular being
if it's worked out there the questions are all resolved
if not you'd always be chumped by what you were seeing
it's beginning to rain it's been a rather dry summer
I sit outdoors in my corner and light a cigar
the purpose of living is not a pedestrian rumor!
but why does it always elude and seem afar?
[This I will regard as the second poem in a sequence that follows (in feeling as much as in form) from whatever I may have absorbed, in gone years, dabbling at reading and translating from classical Chinese shi. The most typical form of such a poem is in 8 lines, either with 5 characters per line (mirrored in the English form by five stressed syllables, as here) or with 7 characters per line (mirrored in the English form by seven stressed syllables, as in the 1st poem in this sequence).
Chinese poems, late summer, no. 2
no. 1: Rooftop Scene